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April 5, 2022
Choice and opportunity are fundamental to a life well lived. At ECS, our commitment to the well-being of seniors – in body, mind, and spirit – has helped create an environment where individuals can truly flourish. The key to our collective success is the belief that seniors should continue to be active, participatory decision-makers in their own lives. Choice really does matter.
Since we first opened our doors in 1923, our understanding of senior living has evolved beyond simple care, food, and shelter. Today, life at every ECS senior living community is guided by a ‘resident-driven, staff supported’ philosophy. It is a point of view that recognizes people for the individuals they are, helping them to continue to be the best version of themselves.
At ECS communities, every day is full of possibility and our residents make the most of it. A recent visitor may have described it best when they said, “That’s the youngest group of old people I ever met.” Here are just a few examples of the kind of people that made such an impression.
Prior to moving to MonteCedro, Jane Schlegal spent many years in and around theater. When Jane moved to MonteCedro, she thought her theater days were behind her. However, like the plot of any good stage play, Jane discovered something unexpected – there were other residents who shared her passion. Together, they formed the MonteCedro Theatre Group. Their repertoire now includes three or four full productions a year plus radio plays and cocktail readings. “The staff here are wonderfully supportive. We couldn’t do it without them,” Jane says.
When it comes to food, Gerard Turbush, Executive Chef at The Canterbuy believes a healthy diet helps people be their best. “Most residents want to participate in their eating choices,” he says. “I work closely with our nutritional care expert and dining room manager to ensure residents’ personal dietary nuances are met.” All our ECS chefs use fresh, local products whenever possible, both for better flavor and nutrition. MonteCedro residents Hugh and Marleen Scheffy say they can taste the difference it makes. “The menu changes daily and everything is fresh and absolutely delicious.”
At The Covington, resident Toni Decker chose the community partly because her beloved terrier mix “Mickey” could join her. “My pet is an important part of my life, and my neighbors appreciated his presence too,” she says. Inspired by this realization, Toni drew on her background in marketing and advertising to develop something wholly original and delightful – she interviews the pets of the community and tells their stories. These stories now appear in The Chat, The Covington’s monthly newsletter. An avid photographer, Toni sets up a professional backdrop and uses her Canon SLR camera to take wonderful, intimate portraits of the pets. “The Covington allows pets, but we weren’t celebrating them. I wanted to change that,” she says.
Lifelong learning is a vital component of a vibrant lifestyle at ECS, and our Creative Living philosophy provides residents with fresh opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Partnering with local, world-renowned galleries, museums, observatories, theatres, and higher learning institutions, residents can pursue their passions and discover new ones.
Jackie Stevens, Regional Director of Life Enrichment at ECS, says the programs are so successful they have inspired residents to share their own knowledge and experience with others. “So many of our residents have fascinating lives and they are now giving their own lectures and presentations,” she says.
The collaboration between residents and staff has also helped create a new set of programming entitled OneWorld Series. As requested by residents, topics for discussion have included understanding the issues of the LGBTQ+ community and the science and impact of climate change. Jackie says residents were so pleased with the outcome of the presentations that the communities are now developing programs on other vital topics, including an upcoming discussion on inequality.
Danny Corrales, Director of Human Resources at The Canterbury says it comes down to how people are treated and respected. “Our residents are like family, and our employees know that they are part of the family too. We are all family here.”
Founded on four commitments – choice, creativity, confidence, and connection – ECS provides relaxed, maintenance-free, resort-style living in beautiful, continuing care, retirement community settings in Southern California.
Celebrating 100 years of exceptional services for seniors. Proudly non-profit. Contact us today to learn more.